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Revolt Newsletter 97

13/09/2001


1. The Revolt AGM, normally held late September or early October, is postponed this year due to FMD. Many farmers and members are in the thick of FMD restrictions. We do not want to delay too long, even if it means a low-key meeting, so a date in November is being sought.

2. NGC has applied to Hambleton DC for renewal of several of its accesses. Hambleton confirm that these are simply existing access approvals which are expiring two years after the original approval. The applications are unchanged from the originals. Accesses so far affected (Hambleton planning ref. in brackets): Appleton Wiske Rd, West Rounton (2/01/169/0061A); Featherbed Lane, West Rounton (2/01/169/0026A); Green Lane, Welbury (2/01/166/0072A); East Harlsey to Welbury Rd (2/01/166/0074A); Allerton Wath Rd, Borrowby (2/01/017/0138A and 0139A); South Moor Lane, Sowerby (2/01/139/0530A); Islebeck Lane, Dalton (2/01/037/0124A); Dalton-Sessay Rd (2/01/129/0102A); Race Lane, Brafferton (2/01/018/0064A); Hag Lane, Raskelf (2/01/122/0132A).

3. On the question of EMFs and harmful effects, a more concrete example than health effects is VDU instability. Alasdair Philips of Powerwatch has dealt with many such cases where the problem is solved by correcting wiring errors which were leading to high EMFs. Sometimes this has been caused by "stray" currents. In two cases of large office buildings the supply neutral line was not connected and the currents were returning through the building girders! While the NRPB refuses to countenance precaution, except at very high field levels, the electricity companies have used this as a reason to ignore these problems, even though the root cause has been faulty connection with hundreds of amps going astray in the buildings.

4. It is a matter of record that both the NRPB and its specialist group AGNIR have avoided the question of precaution on EMFs, preferring to assess the science and leave the policy. It is also a matter of record that NRPB officers have taken a scathing view of prudent avoidance. The Stewart Report on mobile phones broke through the barrier, and although a scientific review, it did address precaution and criticised NRPB. Now, post-Stewart, the NRPB is to review its advice on EMFs, with the express aims (a) to produce a comprehensive assessment of the science ... and (b) to consider ... a precautionary approach .... A welcome change!

5. An interesting web site for prospective home purchasers is http://www.home-envirosearch.com/hazards.htm#10  which is connected with the Daily Mail and the UK's major land use database Landmark http://www.landmark-information.co.uk  which is used to advise the commercial property industry and now also home buyers. It includes environmental hazards not covered in a standard local authority search. A section on 'transmitters' lists several illnesses (cancer, depression, Alzheimer's etc.) potentially linked with living within 200 metres of powerlines or up to 500 metres or more downwind.

6. NGC still has not resolved the route of the line at Rounton Gates, where the wayleave for the line within 100 metres of Railway Cottages was rejected. NGC has reapplied for either of two diversions slightly to the east. The affected landowners Robinsons and Bainbridges are still objecting, so will have further wayleave hearings on Tue 16 Oct at 10.00 a.m. at the Sundial Hotel, Northallerton. Revolt and NFU will make representations through agents Northallerton Estates.

Mike O'Carroll

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